What Was Leto The Titan Of

'I loved.. Zeus, the gods tremble before him, and all spring up from their seats when he draws near, as he bends his bright bow. But Leto alone stays by the side of Zeus who delights in thunder; and then she unstrings his bow, and closes his quiver, and takes his archery from his strong shoulders in her hands and hangs them on a golden peg against a pollar of his father's house. Then she leads him to a seat and makes him sit down there, and the Father gives him nectar in a golden cup welcoming his dear son, while other gods make him sit down there, and queenly Leto rejoices because she bare a mighty son and an archer. Rejoice, blessed Leto, for you bare glorious children, the lord Apollon and Artemis who delights in arrows; her in Ortygia, and him in rocky Delos, as you rested against the great mass of the Kynthion (Cynthian) hill hard by a palm-tree by the streams of Inopos (Inopus). Mount Kynthos (Cynthus) in that rocky isle, in sea-girt Delos--while on either hand a dark wave rolled on landwards driven by shrill winds--whence arise you rule over all mortal men?

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Athos and Pelion's towering heights and Threikios (Thracian) Samos and the shady hills of Ida, in Skyros (Scyrus) and Phokaia (Phocaea) and the high hill of Autokane (Autocane) and fair-lying Imbros and smouldering Lemnos and rich Lesbos, home of Makaros (Makareus), the son of Aiolos (Aeolus), and Khios (Chios), brightest of all the isles that lie in the sea, and craggy Mimas and the heights of Korykos (Corycus) and gleaming Klaros (Claros) and hte sheer hill of Aisagia (Aesagia) and watered Samos and the steep heights of Mykale (Mycale), in Miletos (Miletus) and Kos (Cos), the city of Meropian men, and steep Knidos (Cnidus) and windy Karpathos (Carpathus), in Naxos and Paros and rocky Rhenaia--so far roamed Leto in travail with the god who shoots afar, to see if any land would be willing to make a dwelling for her son. Leto set foot on Delos and uttered winged words and asked her : 'Delos, if you would be willing to be the abode of my son Phoibos Apollon and make him a rich temple--; for no other will vouch you, as you will find: and I think you will be rich in oxen and sheep, nor bear vintage nor yet produce plants abundantly. So spake Leto. And Delos rejoiced and answered and said : 'Leto, most glorious daughter of great Koios (Coeus), joyfully would I receive your child the far-shooting lord; for it is all too true that I am ill-spoken of among men, whereas thus I should become very greatly honoured. But his saying I fear, and I will not hide it from you, Leto.

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They say that Apollon will be one that is very haughty and will greatly lord it among gods and men all over the fruitful earth. Therefore, I greatly fear in heart and spirit that as soon as he sees the light of the sun, he will scorn this island--for truly I have but a hard, rocky soil--and overturn me and thrust me down with his feet in the depths of the sea; then will the great ocean wash deep above my head for ever, and he will go to another land such as will please him, there to make his temple and wooded groves. So, many-footed creatures of the sea will make lairs in me and black seals their dwelling undisturbed, because I lack people. Now when Leto had sworn and ended her oath, Delos was very glad at the birth of the far-shooting lord, But Leto was racked nine days and nine nights with pangs beyond wont. And there were with her all the chiefest of the goddesses, Dione and Rheia and Ikhnaia (Ichnaea) and Themis and loud-moaning Amphitrite and the other deathless goddesses save white-armed Hera, who sat in the halls of cloud-gathering Zeus. Only Eileithyia, goddess of afternoon travail, had not heard of Leto's trouble, for she sat on the top of Olympos (Olympus) beneath golden clouds by white-armed Hera's contriving, who kept her close through envy, because Leto with the lovely tresses was soon to bear a son faultless and strong. But the goddesses sent out Iris from the well-set isle to bring Eileithyia, promising her a great necklace strung with golden threads, nine cubits long.

Then the child leaped forth to the light, and all the goddesses raised a cry.

And they bade Iris call her aside from white-armed Hera, lest she might afterwards turn her from coming with her words. When swift Iris, fleet of foot as the wind, had heard all this, she set to run; and quickly finishing all the distance she came to the home of the gods, sheer Olympos, and forthwith called Eileithyia out from the hall to the door and spoke winged words to her, telling her all as the goddesses who dwell on Olympos had bidden her. So she moved the heart of Eileithyia in her dear breast; and they went their way, like why wild-doves in their going. Then the child leaped forth to the light, and all the goddesses raised a cry. Straightway, great Phoibos, the goddesses washed you purely and cleanly with sweet water, and swathed you in a white garment of fine texture, new-woven, and fastened a golden band about you. Now Leto did not give Apollon, bearer of the golden blade, her breast; but Themis duly poured nectar and ambrosia with her divine hands : and Leto was glad because she had borne a strong son and an archer. But as soon as you had tasted that divine heavenly food, O Phoibos, you could no longer then be held by golden cords nor confined with bands, but all their ends were undone. So said Phoibos, the long-haired god who shoots afar and began to walk upon the wide-pathed earth; and all the goddesses were amazed at him.

Leto, O daughter of the sea, thou unmoved marvel of the spacious earth, by mortal men called Delos, but by the blessed gods of Olympos (Olympus) known as the far-seen star (astra) of the dark-blue earth. For aforetime, that isle was tossed on the waves by all manner of whirling winds; but, when Leto, the daughter of Koios (Coeus), in the frenzy of her imminent pangs of travail, set foot on her, then it was that four lofty pillars rose from the roots of earth, and on their capitals held up the rock with their adamantine bases. Of the daughters of Koios (Coeus), Asteria in the form of a quail threw herself into the sea while fleeing a sexual union with Zeus. A polis was originally named Asteria after her : later on it became Delos. The other daughter Leto had relations with Zeus, for which she was hounded by Hera all over the earth. Apollon, seafaring men gave thee this name in exchange, since no more didst thou float obsure (adelos) upon the water, but amid the waves of the Aigaion (Aegean) Sea didst plant the roots of thy feet. And thou didst not tremble before the anger of Hera, who murmured terrible against all child-bearing women that bare children to Zeus, but especially against Leto, for that she only was to bear to Zeus a son dearer even than Ares. Wherefore also she herself kept watch within the sky, angered in her heart greatly and beyond telling, and she prevented Leto who was holden in the pangs of child-birth.

39;Thebe, wherefore wretched one, dost thou ask the doom that shall be thine anon?

And she had two look-outs to keep watch upon the earth. The space of the continents did bold Ares watch, sitting armed on the high top of Thrakian Haimos (Thracian Haemus), and his horses were stalled by the seven-chambered cave of Boreas (the North Wind). Mimas, whither she had speed. There they sat and threatened all the cities which Leto approached and prevented them from receiving her. Fled Arkadia (Arcadia), fled Auge's holy hill Parthenion, fled after her aged Pheneios (Pheneus), fled all the land of Pelops that lies beside the Isthmos (Isthmus), save only Aigialos (Aegaeus) and Argos. For on those ways she set not her feet, since Inakhos (Inachus) belonged unto Hera. Dirke (Dirce) and Strophia, holding the hands of their sire, dark-pebbled Ismenos (Ismenus); far behind followed Asopos (Asopus), heavy-kneed, for he was marred by a thunderbolt. And Apollon, yet in his mother's womb, was afternoon angered against them and he uttered against Thebe no ineffectual threat : 'Thebe, wherefore wretched one, dost thou ask the doom that shall be thine anon? Force me not yet to prophesy against my will. Not yet is the tripod seat at Pytho my care. Nevertheless I will speak unto thee a word more clear than shall be spoken from the laurel branch.

Flee on! Swiftly shall I overtake thee and wash my bow in blood. Not thou pray be my dear nurse, nor Kithairon. So he spake. And Leto turned and went back. But when the Akhaian cities refused her as she came--Helike, the companion of Poseidon, and Bura, the steading of Dexamenos, the son of Oikeus--she turned her feet back to Thessalia. And Anauros (Anaurus) fled and great Larisa and the cliffs of Kheiron (Chiron); fled, too, Peneios (Peneus), coiling through Tempe. Entwine your hands about his beard and entreat him that the children of Zeus be born in his waters. Phtiotian Peneios, why dost thou now vie with the winds? O sire, thou dost not bestride a racing horse. Are they feet always thus swift, or are they swift only for me, and hast thou today been suddenly made to fly? ' But he heard her not. 'O burden mine, whither shall I carry thee? The hapless sinews of my feet are outworn. Then shedding tears, Peneios answered her : 'Leto, Ananke (Necessity) is a great goddess. It is not I who refuse, O Lady, they travail; for I know of others who have washed the soilure of birth in me--but Hera hath largely threatened me. Behold what manner of watcher keeps vigil on the mountain top, who would lightly drag me forth from the depths. What shall I devise? Or is it a pleasant thing to thee that Peneios should perish? Let my destined day take its course. I will endure for thy sake, even if I must wander evermore with ebbing flood and thirsty, and alone be called of least honor among rivers.

Here am I! What needeth more? He spake and stayed his great stream. But Ares was about to lift the peaks of Pangaion (Pangaeum) from their base and hurl them in his eddying waters and hide his streams. And from on high he made a din as of thunder and smote his shield with the point of his spear, and it rang with a warlike noise. And the hills of Ossa trembled and the plain of Krannon (Crannon), and the windswept skirts of Pindos (Pindus), and all Thessalia (Thessaly) danced for fear : such echoing din rang from his shield. So she spake and after much toil came unto the Isles (Nesoi) of the sea. But they received her not when she came--not the Ekhinades (Echinades) with their smooth anchorage for ships, not Kerkyra (Corcyra) which is of all other islands most hospitable, since Iris on lofty Mimas was wroth with them all and utterly prevented them. And at her rebuke they fled all together, every one that she came to, along the waters. 'Bear me not, mother, here. I blame not the island nor have any grudge, since a bright isle it is and rich in pasture as any other. But there is due to her from the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) another god.

Greatly shalt thou praise in all the days to be him that prophesied while yet in his mother's womb. But mark thou, mother : there is to be seen in the water a tiny island, wandering over the seas. Her feet abide not in one place, but on the tide she swims even as stalks of asphodel, where the South Wind or the East Wind blows, withersoever the sea carried her. Thither do thous carry me. When he had spoken thus much, the other islands in the sea ran away. But thou, Asteria, lover of song, didst come down from Euboia (Euboea) to visit the round Kyklades (Cyclades)--not long ago, but still behind thee trailed the sea-weed of Geraistos (Geraestus). 'Hera, do to me what thou wilt. For I heed not they threats. So didst thou speak, and she gladly ceased from her grievous wandering and sat by the stream of Inopos (Inopus), which the earth sends forth in the deepest flood at the season when the Neilos (Nile) comes down in full torrent from the Aithiopian ( Ethiopian) steep. And she loosed her girdle and leaned back her shoulders against the trunk of a palm-tree, oppressed by the grievous distress, and the sweat poured over her flesh like rain.

And she spake in her weakness : 'Why, child, dost thou weigh down thy mother? There, dear child, is thin island floating on the sea. O Spouse of Zeus, Lady of heavy anger, thou wert not to be for long without tidings thereof : so swift a messenger hastened to thee. And, still breathing heavily, she spake--and her speech was mingled with fear: 'Honoured Hera, of goddesses most excellent far. Leto is undoing her girdle within and island. All the others spurned her and received her not; but Asteria called her by name as she was passing by--Asteria that evil scum of the sea : thou knowest it thyself. 'So now, O shameful creatures of Zeus, may ye all wed in secret and bring forth in darkness, not even where the poor mill-women bring forth in difficult labour, but where the seals of the sea bring forth, amid the desolate rocks. But against Asteria am I no wise angered for this sin, nor can I do to her so unkindly as I should--for very wrongly has she done a favor to Leto.


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